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beguile

play
verb be·guile \bi-ˈgī(-ə)l, bē-\

Simple Definition of beguile

  • : to trick or deceive (someone)

  • : to attract or interest someone

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of beguile

beguiled

beguiling

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to lead by deception

  3. 2 :  hoodwink

  4. 3 :  to while away especially by some agreeable occupation; also :  divert 2

  5. 4 :  to engage the interest of by or as if by guile

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to deceive by wiles

beguilement

play \-ˈgī(-ə)l-mənt\ noun

beguiler

play \-ˈgī-lər\ noun

beguilingly

play \-ˈgī-liŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of beguile in a sentence

  1. She was cunning enough to beguile her classmates into doing the work for her.

  2. They were beguiled into thinking they'd heard the whole story.

  3. Almost everything in the quaint little town beguiles, from its architecture to its art to its people.

  4. He beguiled the audience with his smooth and seductive voice.



The Beguiling History of beguile

A number of English words have traveled a rather curious path from meanings related to deception or trickery to something less unwelcome. A prime example is beguile, which first appeared in English around the 13th century in the sense “to lead or draw by deception.” For the next several centuries, most of the senses of the verb had to do, in one manner or another, with deceiving. Around the time of Shakespeare, however, the word took on a new sense, “to charm.” In a similar vein, fun was first recorded at the end of the 17th century as a verb meaning “to hoax or trick (someone).” It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that it began to be used as an adjective indicating that something was enjoyable. Amuse likewise started its life as a verb meaning “to divert the attention of (as from the truth or one's real intent).”

13th Century

First Known Use of beguile

13th century

Synonym Discussion of beguile

deceive, mislead, delude, beguile mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness. deceive implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness <tried to deceive me about the cost>. mislead implies a leading astray that may or may not be intentional <I was misled by the confusing sign>. delude implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth <we were deluded into thinking we were safe>. beguile stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving <was beguiled by false promises>.

BEGUILE Defined for Kids

beguile

play
verb be·guile \bi-ˈgīl\

Definition of beguile for Students

beguiled

beguiling

  1. 1 :  2trick, deceive <He was beguiled with lies.>

  2. 2 :  to cause time to pass pleasantly <… throughout the rest of our night-march he beguiled the way with whistling of many tunes … — Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped>

  3. 3 :  to attract or interest by or as if by charm <The scenery beguiled us.>





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